South Carolina Tames Kentucky for First SEC Road Win

Dick Cox

October 10, 2022 at 3:32 pm.

South Carolina scored on its first offensive play of the game on a MarShawn Lloyd 2-yard touchdown run to take an early lead and they never trailed on its way to a 24-14 SEC victory.

Kentucky’s Chris Rodriguez Jr. fumbled on the opening play to set up the Carolina score.

This was a game that had been circled on the schedule for a long time after Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops had some not so kind things to say about Gamecock Coach Shane Beamer and his football program back at SEC Media Days in July.

“It’s easy to change the climate; you just change a uniform, talk a little game, dance around, put on some stupid sunglasses, you can change a climate,” Stoops said. “But to change a culture is at the core, and I’m quite certain we’ve changed our culture. Just who we are and how we’re perceived. Walk around with some of the greatest coaches and that respect you get, and the respect our players carry with them.”

Beamer had posted a video with his players sporting sunglasses and dancing in a mock music video made for social media that led to Stoops comments.

Beamer got the last laugh and broke out the sunglasses and danced again during a postgame celebration in the locker room. During South Carolina’s postgame celebration, Beamer also brought up Mark Stoops’ SEC Media Days comments.

“Make sure we’re classy in our postgame with the media,” Beamer told his team. “At SEC Media Days, he talked about stupid sunglasses and dancing.”

Beamer then put on the sunglasses and started dancing to Soulja Boy’s “Turn My Swag On.”

After being tied 7-7 at the half, the Gamecocks took the lead for good in the third quarter when Spencer Rattler threw the go-ahead touchdown pass to Antwane Wells Jr. in the flat and the junior raced past a defender for a 42-yard touchdown and 14-7 lead. Mitch Jeter’s 32-yard field goal later in the period provided a 10-point cushion. Jalen Brooks extended the lead to 17 points with a 24-yard TD run with 7:02 remaining.

Lloyd finished the game with 110 yards running on 22 carries and one touchdown. Rattler was 14 of 17 passing for 177 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

The Wildcats scored a late touchdown when Kaiya Sheron connected on a 10-yard TD pass to JuTahn McClain with 2:49 left in the game as Kentucky fell for the second consecutive week in league play.

The Gamecock defense had a stellar game sacking the Cats quarterback six times. They also had two tackles for loss. Carolina special teams also blocked a Kentucky punt.

South Carolina won its first road game since topping East Carolina in Beamer’s second game on Sept. 11, 2021. The Gamecocks also earned their first win over a ranked team since beating No. 15 Auburn at home on Oct. 17, 2020, and first on the road since topping third-ranked Georgia on Oct. 19, 2019.

The win was Beamer’s first win as a head coach against a ranked opponent.

”This was really big for us in so many ways,” said Beamer. “We were missing so many guys. Proud of our team. I said take all three phases, and it did.”

On Oct. 9, 2021, quarterback Rattler was benched in Oklahoma football’s game against Texas in favor of freshman Caleb Williams. Almost a year later, after a high-profile transfer process, Rattler led South Carolina to the 24-14 victory and its first road win over Kentucky in a decade. The Gamecocks’ star enjoyed the feeling of redemption over his former team which lost 49-0 to Texas.

“You guys saw the score today of that game, and we got a pretty big win, so it was a pretty good day I guess,” Rattler joked. “It’s crazy how things work.”

South Carolina (4-2, 1-2) now has a bye before hosting Texas A&M on Oct. 22. Kentucky hosts No. 23 Mississippi State in its next game.

Lindy’s Sports Post Game Coaches Corner: South Carolina vs Kentucky

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